Nevada Man Found Guilty in Quagga Mussel Case
In the first trial involving Glen Canyon National Recreation Area’s mussel prevention regulations, a federal judge has ordered a Nevada man to pay a $2500 fine for failing to have his boat inspected for mussels before launching on Lake Powell.
On Monday, October 19, Federal Magistrate Judge Robert T. Braithwaite found Nevada resident Jonny Ward guilty of violating regulations requiring mandatory inspections for "at risk" boats entering Lake Powell. Ward visited Glen Canyon on August 17, 2009, and was informed by park staff that he was required to have his boat inspected for zebra and quagga mussels before launching on Lake Powell. Ward instead proceeded to Lone Rock Beach, where he launched in violation of Glen Canyon regulations.
National Park Service rangers contacted Ward on Lone Rock Beach and issued him a mandatory citation to appear in court for violating mussel prevention regulations. Ward elected to go to trial, and was found guilty of violating Glen Canyon’s quagga mussel regulations by Judge Braithwaite. National Park Service staff testified in court in support of the prosecution.
"We appreciate Judge Braithwaite’s support for our mussel prevention efforts at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area" Superintendent Stan Austin said. "Our success in keeping Lake Powell mussel-free will only continue with the cooperation and support of all of our partners and visitors."
Zebra and quagga mussels are aquatic invasive species that can lead to severe economic and environmental consequences for lakes and other waterways. A number of water bodies in the region are known to be infested with quagga mussels. Glen Canyon National Recreation Area has had an active mussel prevention program in place since 2000 for Lake Powell. All evidence to date indicates Lake Powell is zebra and quagga mussel free.